Opinion, Berkeley Blogs

Repeal or Re-write Prop 13

By Richard Abrams

California voters have a long history of shooting themselves in the foot.  Prop 13 is one calamity, especially the provision that requires a 2/3 legislative vote to pass a budget.  (The tax provisions are obscenely unfair, but that's a different issue.)  Term limits is a second crippling measure.  What ails California?  In a nut-shell, lack of political statemanship.  Term limits deprives Californians of experienced leaders, knowledgable about law making, some of whom might occasionally put public interest above self-serving personal goals, and skilled enough to parry the thrusts of special interest lobbyists.  What we have in Sacramento is a bunch of amateurs who are prey to the machinations of very experienced lobbyists who have no term limits, and who know that when their 2 to 8 year tenure in Sacramento expires they will be looking for private sector  jobs -- and what better jobs will there be but those that serve the masters of the lobbyists.  Do the arithmetic.  To heal our badly wounded feet, we need leadership.  What ails California?  Again: lack of political statesmanship; leaders who are willing to take on the the repeal of Prop.13 and term limits.